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Hello from Way Up North, Northern BC

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  • Hello from Way Up North, Northern BC

    Hello everyone. My name is Cheryl Kirschman and we just found out in March 2006 that my eldest son (10yrs) has Tourette's. Everyone in the school system just sluffed him off as a bad kid and tried to tell me he had ADHD but the meds did not work they made him worse. Finally in grade 5 he had a teacher which had moved up here for half the year from Toronto tell me "He doesn't have ADHD, I would get him checked for Tourette's". So I did, it ends up he has a mild case of Tourette's and one part of ADD. When I told the school the principal that he had last year said that the other kids would not know about it and he didn't want them to know about it because they would pick on him more. Well now we have gone to an IEP meeting with the school and I find out that my baby is walking around the school at lunch time by himself and the kids don't want anything to do with him unless they are picking on him. His teacher is really good about it all. Very understanding and has openly adimitted to me that she doesn't know anything about Tourette's but is willing to learn how to help him. She seems like such a god send to me because she knows what I'm going through and we are both working together to try to find a way to help him. There is no information in our little town about Tourette's and last years Principal told me that they had had one child a couple of years ago with Tourette's but he couldn't remember what they had done for him. I feel like I really don't have any support up here (for my family or for the teacher) it is all just so confusing. Anyway thank you for listening and I know I will get support from all the wonderful people who are going through the same thing as my family. God bless you all.

  • #2
    Re: Hello from Way Up North, Northern BC

    Hi Cheryl:

    Welcome! I am glad you have found us. Unfortunately what you describe is not that uncommon with kids with Tourette Syndrome. I also watched with heartbreak as my son went through school with very few friends. On the flipside the friends he now has are wonderful people who enjoy his spontaneity and humour.

    There are lots of postings about strategies for school in other threads on the online forum. For example, check out this posting.

    It sounds like your son's teacher is willing to learn. Ask if the school can purchase the Educator's Resource Kit. This kit has a video and a self-study workbook. It also has a copy of the book Understanding Tourette Syndrome: A Handbook for Educators. This kit will give your son's teacher alot of information and strategies for dealing with Tourette and his ADD in the school. Click here for details.

    You can also point the teacher to this online forum. There are several people who participate here who do in-service presentations to educators who may be able to answer some of her questions. Additionally you can call the TSFC National office at 1-800-361-3120 and ask them so send information about TS for teachers.

    Is the teacher more familiar with ADHD and is she employing strategies to help out on that front?
    Forum Moderator


    • #3
      Re: Hello from Way Up North, Northern BC

      Welcome to the TSFC Forum, Cheryl! It's great that you found us, because our members can provide you with a wealth of information and strategies to help your son deal with his diagnosis.

      Teasing a child about the expression of his tics is usually caused by a lack of understanding of the disorder on the part of those doing the teasing. Use the resources Cathy has suggested about providing some in service education.

      Another strategy that will serve your son well as he faces the world is to develop his own explanation of Tourette so that in situations where he feels it's necessary to explain the disorder, he has his explanation prepared.

      You can work with him on that by role playing and rehearsing the explanation so he can be prepared.

      Check out this Forum posting which provides a concise overview of Tourette, and can serve as a basis for his explanation

      That document can also be downloaded as a pdf file and can be printed if you wish Click Here

      Feel free to use us as a resource and to share your feelings. We are here to help.
      TouretteLinks Forum


      • #4
        Re: Hello from Way Up North, Northern BC

        Thank you all for all your help. I have printed off all the documents so we can get a better understanding of what's happening. I also read about the bracelets for helping him explain to the other kids, and his counsellor, teacher and I think it's a wonderful idea. I'm just waiting for the membership package to arrive and then I will be ordering a few things like the handbooks for sure. I'm thinking I will order him the bracelet, the watch and the teddy bear. I am sure it will prove to him that I think he's a very special guy and he deserves the best. Again thank you very much I feel like a big weight has been lifted off of my shoulders and feel much more enthusiastic about learning more. Zack and I talked last night about doing a research project on tourette. He sees that I am very interested in learning about it and it's giving him that push to want to learn more and understand. This is so great. This website is the greatest thing to happen to our family. Thank you, thank you, thank you.


        • #5
          Re: Hello from Way Up North, Northern BC

          Hi Cheryl

          Welcome to the forum. I have TS and 4 sons, two diagnosed with TS and the younger two (twin) are both symptomatic and will probably be diagnosed. I think that you are off to a great start. Talking openly about having TS from the time of diagnosis has been the success for our family.

          Feel free to ask any question, any time. Once you are ready to place an order with the TSFC you may also want to consider ordering the dvd Tourette is Powerful it is geared towards kids your son's age and may help him internalize what he has and have a better understanding as he sees others his age talk about living with TS. I would certainly encourage that your son's peers be in=serviced.

          TSFC Homepage


          • #6
            Re: Hello from Way Up North, Northern BC

            Hello Cheryl:

            Welcome to the TSFC forum and I am so glad you found us.

            You are taking the right steps to make it better and it is good that the teacher would like more information.

            Sometimes when a in service program is not an option the educational package can make a difference.

            Your son will learn more about TS in time with you and it is not uncommon for some not to "want anyone to know", unfortunately the teasing can also be an issue as we have experienced this too.

            In time with proper education it can improve. Though we did the in service program last year, my son is being targeted by a group of girls right now. Instead of lashing out he walks away and reports to the principal. She has been a wonderful alley to him and for the first time in his life school does not have to be a bad experience.

            It all takes time but life can improve.

            I hope you spend some time visiting all the topics and ask questions. We are all here for you and although you may feel isolated you are far from being alone.

            Take care.


            • #7
              Re: Hello from Way Up North, Northern BC

              Thank you so much for all of your support. I would love to do an In-service in his school but unfortunately the closest chapter to us is Edmonton and the closest support person is Grande Prairie, AB. And even there GP is six hours drive from us when the roads are really good. I really am thinking that I will have to do something to get people here to understand that even in little towns you will find people with TS or TS+. I am just trying to think of ways to make a difference for Zack and for all the children that will surely follow. Zack only gets a youth and family worker for a couple of hours a week and is now on an IEP. I have been told that is all he can get because his TS+ is only a mild case and he is not rated. But I keep thinking about all the other children who have just been labled bad, or having ADHD but no one has actually looked any further than the ADHD. It really makes you wonder. And it also gives you a whole new understanding of why kids are having so much trouble. Sorry just needed to get that out. Thank you again for all of your help and understanding.


              • #8
                Re: Hello from Way Up North, Northern BC

                I would love to do an In-service in his school but unfortunately the closest chapter to us is Edmonton

                The In Service package from TSFC provides for all the tools required to make an in service presentation as a do it yourself project, using a video presentation, when a live presenter is unavailable.

                I'll defer to others with more knowledge on the in service package to elaborate as I have not had first hand experience with it.
                TouretteLinks Forum